Ottie Wahrmund’s voice sounds richer and fuller every year. Hettie insisted on “Because” because Ottie had sung it so beautifully at her sister Jennie’s wedding. The string orchestra Emma hired makes Lohengrin’s bridal march particularly beautiful.
Frank is shifting back and forth on his heels. Last month, when he asked for Hettie’s hand, Frank said he bought the ring while Hettie was in Germany. His plan had been to ask Otto for her hand at his first opportunity. And then…. He waited patiently. Worried it might be too soon.
Hettie was so elated. A long engagement seemed absurd after all that waiting. Carpe diem. The United States might get swept up into the war at any moment.
It already had been too long since this house hosted a festive banquet for friends and family. The only time required to stage a wedding was the time the dressmaker needed to sew Hettie’s dress.
Former Governor Thomas Mitchell Campbell, February 1916
“The breweries didn’t admit their guilt to one single thing. Not to paying poll taxes for poor Antis. Not to making illegal use of their assets to further their political agenda. Not to violating anti-trust statutes. They claim to be as innocent as babes in the woods when they are as evil as those zeppelin airships slipping in at night to deposit deadly bombs on civilians in England and France.”
“The Attorney General did whack them with the third largest judgment ever rendered in the history of the state,” says his son-in-law Clarence Dilley.
“Two-hundred and eighty-thousand dollars? That’s chickenfeed to them. Barely a slap on the wrist. In 1911 alone, the San Antonio Brewing Association contributed more than $100,000 to the Texas Brewing Association to defeat the Prohibition Amendment.”
“Otto’s revenge, this is. I never thought of myself as the vengeful type, but, I must confess, this is the best Christmas present I have ever given or received.”
“Ah, Emma,” says Judge Newton, “I believe it was best expressed in Beowulf: ‘It is always better to avenge dear ones than to indulge in mourning.’”
“Maybe, Gallie, that is indeed why this feels so good.”
“Aunt Emma,” says Corwin Priest, “eleven acres along the river is a Christmas gift for all of San Antonio. Otto Koehler Park. Uncle Otto must be kicking his heels together up above us. Is it true that part of that land might be haunted?”